Updated January 2013
We’ve written so much about stainless steel water bottles — including about a Healthy Water Bottle, Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Water Bottle, and CamelBak Stainless Steel Better Bottle — that we’ve decided to wrap it up once and for all. We’ve put together this post which reviews and compares all of the best stainless steel water bottles on the market. Below you’ll see which bottles we like best, and why.
So what is this post all about?
It’s a Stainless Steel Water Bottle Smackdown. We compare and contrast the top stainless bottles on the market. We detail which bottles are best that are insulated, which bottles aren’t made in China, which bottles have straws, even bottles that fit in bike holders.
Here are the contenders:
- Klean Kanteen – You can read our full Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Water Bottle Review here.
- CamelBak – You can read our CamelBak Stainless Steel Better Bottle Review here.
- New Wave Enviro – Another popular brand of water bottles.
- Thinksport – One of the first insulated stainless steel water bottles on the market.
- Sigg – Disqualified! Contrary to popular belief it’s made from Aluminum.
Round by Round Winners
Insulation: Want your drink to stay cool and not drip condensation? We have previously compared all of the best insulated stainless bottles in this post and these were our top choices for bottles: Thinksport and CamelBak both come insulated.
BPA-free: BPA-Free bottles are a must – you don’t want all of those hormone disrupting chemicals in your bottle. So, which bottle was the best in this category? All of our contenders passed tied this round as they are all BPA free water bottles.
Ease of Drinking: Don’t like tipping your bottle upside down and risking water dribbling all over you? We have become huge fans of water bottles with straws. (You can read a full review of water bottles with straws here.) The best choice in this category is CamelBak . Their Bite Valve and straw system makes drinking easy.
Looks: Want a good looking water bottle? CamelBak has some fun designs, but I think Thinksport wins overall for a sleek, yet professional, yet fun look.
Variety of Sizes: Depending on your activity you may want a large 40 ounce bottle or a small 12 ounce water bottle or perhaps somewhere in between. CamelBak and Thinksport have two sizes, while New Wave Enviro and Klean Kanteen both come in four sizes.
Bike Water Bottle Holder Friendly: If you bike a lot you definitely want a stainless steel water bottle that fits in your bike’s water bottle holder. Which ones do? With the exception of the 40 ounce bottle, all of Klean Kanteen’s bottles fit in a bike water bottle holder, making the Klean Kanteen the most reliable brand.
Sippy Cup Option: If you have kids, a stainless steel sippy cup is handy. But check out our list of the best bottles for kids.
Price: We checked out prices at Amazon.com for the size closest to 25 or 27 ounces in a silver color. Here’s what they were: Klean Kanteen $16.35, CamelBak $21.99, Thinksport $24.00, and New Wave Enviro $10.69.
Best Stainless Steel Water Bottle?
So who won the Stainless Steel Water Bottle Smackdown? It depends on what you’re looking for. All four contenders offer something unique. Our personal favorite is the CamelBak because of the straw. Here are links to buy a stainless steel water bottle on Amazon:
- For Klean Kanteen, click here.
- For New Wave Enviro, click here.
- For CamelBak, click here.
- For Thinksport, click here.
If you want a complete list of the winners by category, here they are:
The Winners: Best Stainless Steel Water Bottles
Best Insulated Bottle with Straw: CamelBak is your best bet.
Best for Cheapest Price and Overall Value: New Wave Enviro.
Best Overall for Brand Reliability: Klean Kanteen.
Best for not made in China: Unfortunately, all stainless steel water bottles are made in China. You can buy a BPA free Nalgene (plastic) or a glass water bottle if you want something made in the US. If you want a company with sustainable practices and want stainless steel, we recommend Klean Kanteen.
You may also be interested in our post about Glass Water Bottles: BPA Free Bottles
Update: Check out our newest post about Best Stainless Steel Cookware: Set Showdown, which will help disentangle the safety issues with nonstick cookware.